Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Creating Foundations to Move Their Ideals...and Products

Ever wonder why groups like the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society and Campaign for Tobaco-free Kids oppose tobacco harm reduction and e-cigarettes?
Keep reading.
The New Corporate America Business Model                 
Creating Foundations to Move Their Ideals...and Products

By Pam Parker

               There's a new and dangerous business strategy being employed in the United States.  Corporations are creating Foundations who give grants to non-profits who push for laws that move their products.  One thing the corporations, foundations and non-profits all share is profitability.  One such corporation is Johnson and Johnson.  Those who share in the profits are their partners.

              The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation was created  by the founder of  Johnson  & Johnson with over ten million shares of Johnson and Johnson (JnJ stock)[i].   In 1972, it was established as a national foundation worth $1.2 billion [ii].  In 2009, the Foundation's investment portfolio increased $1 billion to $8,379,808,000[iii].  RWJF's mission today: to help society transform itself for the better.  Noble sounding, until you delve into the fact that it's what RWJF considers "for the better", foregoing what we want for ourselves or for society.  The horrifying truth is RWJF profits from what it wants for society.

              The RWJF Anthology "Taking on Tobacco: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Assault on Smoking" publication [iv]  outlines how they gave $99 million in grants to fund coalitions "housed in organizations" such as the American Cancer Society (ACS), American Lung Association (ALA) and American Heart Association (AHA).  This publication outlines all the organizations who received over $446 million in grants just through January, 2008.  In the beginning, grants were given to organizations to promote tobacco education.   Once organizations were used to receiving funding, if they did not move on to tobacco "control", their funding was cut off.  The Foundation makes it perfectly clear in their publications that as a Foundation, their grant money cannot be used for lobbying.  However, to quote Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, that's just geography.  It's just moving money from point A to point B while accomplishing lobbying, with smoking cessation as RWJF's ultimate goal.  Over $99,000 in grant money was invested in Evaluating an Innovative Communications Campaign Designed to Increase Consumer Demand for Tobacco Dependence Treatment by Medicaid Recipients [v]Nearly $97,000 in grant money was invested for Individual and Policy Level Influences on the Use of Various Cessation Strategies and Abstinence from Cigarettes Among Adult Smokers [vi].

              RWJF points out repeatedly that coalition building is the key.  Here are but a few.
O   The Center for Disease Control has received grant money from RWJF [vii]
o   RWJF provides funding to TFK for polls used to influence lawmakers, such as an Ohio poll [viii] on raising cigarette taxes. 
o   RWJF is a major funder of the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium [ix] who helps works with communities with tobacco law-related issues such as smoke-free policies (smoking bans) and tobacco control funding laws.  
o   Steven Schroeder, former CEO of RWJF, returned to the University of California, San Francisco, with a $10 million RWJF grant for the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center[x]
o   GSK, marketer of Nicorette, Nicoderm, Nicoderm CQ, is quoted in this article as applauding two organizations for their efforts to improve the regulation of smoking cessation aides.  The two organizations, Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence (ATTUD) and the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SNRT) both urged the FDA to adopt more flexible regulatory approaches to expand access to and the use of NRT products.  ATTUD's FDA petition drive [xi] was funded, in part, by RWJF.  SNRT is funded [xii], in part, by RWJF, Johnson & Johnson, Glaxo Smith Kline, and McNeil.
o   Professor Stanton Glantz, University of California, San Francisco, received grants over $1,071,000 to create Tobacco Scam to claim smoking bans don't hurt the Hospitality Industry.  It's been proven that most bars are hurt by smoking bans, but Glantz combines restaurants with bars (restaurants outnumber bars 5:1 while restaurant employees outnumber bar employees 10:1).  (RWJF Grants 52810 and 36173).           Glantz' job?  To say it's all a Big Tobacco lie and that's what his website claims [xiii].
If a group doesn't exist, then RWJF just creates and funds it.  For example - Tobacco-Free Kids.  A brilliant marketing strategy.  After all, who wouldn't want kids to be tobacco-free?  RWJF created and funded Tobacco-Free Kids [xiv] (TFK) with $84,000,000 in start-up money.  In 2000, TFK drafted the core principles for the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.  In fact, interveners for the Master Settlement Agreement [xv] have all received funding from RWJF (ACS, AHA, ALA, Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights [xvi][xvii], the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network [xviii]).   The Master Settlement Agreement was originally to settle states' Medicaid lawsuits against the tobacco industry for recovery of tobacco-related health care costs [xix].  It has evolved into lobbying states to spend the money on smoking cessation, quit lines and giveaways of nicotine replacement products, such as patches and gum.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Having spent 7 years in a non-profit environment, this isn't unusual activity. Often this kind of thing is done with the blessing of, and in collusion with, the government. Especially when when it's a good PR move or someone gets rich.